Parent Diaries

People often say that you fall in love with your baby when it is born… But I didn’t feel this “extraordinary” connection.

I didn’t have an instant bond with my baby after the birth and I felt so guilty!

Vertou, France

I have been living with my partner for 10 years and married for 2. Becoming parents was one of our projects and it happened very quickly. I became pregnant two months after I completed my studies!

I found out I was pregnant when the future father was on a business trip and only due to return the following day. I felt I couldn’t tell him over the phone, so I waited for him to return with a small box symbolising this event. After a fairly short night’s sleep the time had come! Unfortunately, my husband had had bad news that day and his career was on the line … Despite this, he was really delighted.

I had wanted a child for a long time, so I did not apprehend being pregnant… It went really well! I blossomed, I loved my bump… It was also nice not to have to work and I fully enjoyed this.

I discussed things with other future and young mothers online, through social media and on mobile applications. I didn’t call on my family and friends that much.

I wanted to know the baby’s sex before the birth to help me plan, buy clothes and decorate. As the weeks went by I was convinced that I would give birth early. However, despite doing lots of activities up until the end to trigger the birth, my baby held on until full term!

The birth was fairly quick, with contractions that started at 5 a.m. and Liam’s birth at 2.04 p.m. I was impatient to get home from the maternity ward, but the first two days turned out to be difficult, since I was alone and a little lost with my son. After that I had the help of my husband, who stayed at home for the 15 days that followed. When he resumed work, I was much more confident. I set myself fewer limitations and allowed myself to do lots of activities with Liam.

With the benefit of hindsight, I think that I went through a slight period of baby blues in the first weeks. People often say that you fall in love with your baby when it is born… I did not feel this love. I looked after him, I was fond of him but I didn’t have a “special” connection. I didn’t know if it was normal or if I should feel guilty. Very few people talk about this kind of pressure yet so many of us have already felt this kind of guilt.

The months go by quickly with small pleasures, lots of pride and questions! It is amazing to see how quickly my son has grown and it raises questions about the way in which I will educate him. I also thought that I was more patient about things. I have to admit that it really depends on the day and how tired I am feeling!

I sometimes find it difficult to let go and to allow my son to cry. I thought that as a parent I wouldn’t let him cry; that I would try to find out why he was crying to appease him. But it turns out that as he was growing, I needed to let him cry when I couldn’t cope anymore, and when I had no solution. The things you imagine before becoming a parent all go out the window. Every child is different and it is up to us to adapt and not the opposite.

Some values are important to me and I would like to pass them on to Liam: respecting others, sharing, helping him grow, giving him confidence, so that he’ll be pleasant to live with. Now that he is crawling, the challenge is getting him to understand what he can and cannot do. He also needs reassurance, as he is going through a “frightened of being abandoned” phase.

We are feeling our way a little, as we don’t know what he really understands. However, one word of advice I would give to future mothers is don’t pressure yourselves. You need to listen to the advice you are given, BUT you also need be confident in your ability as a parent, because in the end you know what’s best for your child.